Tag Archives: Patient

Fighting Fire with Fire.. How HIV is Used to Cure Cancer!

When all conventional forms of treatment were exhausted, Emma Whitehead, 6, was entered into a clinical trial where she was injected with a disabled form of the HIV virus to reprogram her immune system and genetically kill cancer cells.

The result, as seen in the video, exceeded all expectations. Emma is now in remission and her progress is being tracked everyday.

If you never thought you’d see the day when you’d appreciate HIV . . .

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania were looking for a way to stop tumor cell growth, or actively kill the tumor cells. They had several patients (adults with chronic lymphocytic leukenia) and kids with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. These patients had failed all previous standard chemotherapy treatments and would all have probably died in less than a 1 month.

Researchers at Penn had developed a technique to modify the patients’ own T-cells to turn them into what they called “serial killer” cells. These serial killer T-cells could each kill approximately 1000 tumor cells that had the CD-19 antigen on them. This antigen is found on the malignant lymphocytes in these leukemia patients.

To produce the serial killers, researchers needed to modify the patients’ own T-cells by genetically engineering them to produce an antibody-like protein that would sic them on the tumor cells. To do that, the researchers needed to get at the T-cells’ genes. They found that the best way to get this process to work was to use HIV.

The HIV naturally seeks out T-cells and binds to them, then injects its own genetic material, functionally taking over the cell. Forcing it to produce millions of copies of HIV before the cell dies. The researchers modified the HIV so that it could no longer cause the infected cells to produce HIV. But it was programmed to cause them to produce the protein that would make them highly specific serial killers.

The researchers removed T-cells from each patient, cultured them, added the specially programmed HIV. They let the HIV inject and modify the cells, removed them and infused them into the patients. The results? The modified T-cells were very effective. In one case, the modified T-cells destroyed an estimated two POUNDS of tumor.

12 patients who participated in this small trial (10 adults and 2 children). Nine patients responded and all are still alive, some after almost three years. They show no evidence of any remaining leukemic cells and are generally doing well.

The research received additional grant funding and is continuing. The possibility exists that, using modified HIV, other tumor antigens can be successfully targeted and similarly destroyed.

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Doctors are ‘missing HIV signs’

Many doctors are missing the signs that patients could be infected with HIV, researchers said after they found that one in four people with the disease could have been diagnosed at an earlier stage.

The British HIV Association (BHIVA), the body that represents HIV care professionals, said that patients with HIV are being denied longer life expectancies because they are being diagnosed too late.

A quarter of patients missed an opportunity for their HIV infection to be detected earlier because they were not offered a HIV test, according to BHIVA’s audit of HIV testing and diagnosis in the UK.

Researchers said late diagnosis of the condition is a growing problem.

People who are diagnosed with more advanced HIV have a tenfold increased risk of death in the first year compared to those diagnosed with earlier stages of infection, they said.

The author of the report, Dr Ed Ong said: “Our data shows one in four people living with HIV could have had their condition diagnosed earlier.

“This is a serious wake-up call, and shows we need a pro-active and widespread testing programme which is tailored to those people who are most at risk.”

BHIVA chair Professor Jane Anderson added: “Late diagnosis is the single biggest cause of death from HIV in the UK. It increases the risk of HIV related ill-health, of HIV being acquired by others, and significantly increases the costs of treatment.

“HIV is treatable, and if diagnosed in time, people with HIV can expect to have long and healthy lives. Sadly, opportunities for longer life expectancy for people with HIV are being thrown away by late diagnosis.”

The research, which examined the records of more than 1,000 patients at HIV treatment centres in the UK, was published today in the Clinical Medicine Journal.

Original Article via the Telegraph

HAVE YOU EVER HAD A HIV TEST?

If you’re interested in having a HIV test, we offer a completely free and confidential rapid HIV test and you’ll get the results within 60 seconds from a simple finger prick test. We use the Insti HIV test produced by BioLytical laboratories. The test is 99.96% accurate from 90 days post contact for detecting HIV 1 and 2 antibodies. We also have a mobile testing van which is often out in communities providing mobile rapidHIV tests. Appointments are not always necessary, if you would like a test, please contact us on 0116 2559995

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